Diabetic Footcare is Critical for Kids!
Kids living with diabetes are less likely to feel a foot injury, such as a blister or cut. That’s why diabetic footcare and education is vitally important. Diabetes can make injuries more difficult to heal. Left untreated, even small foot injuries can quickly become infected, potentially leading to serious complications. Prevention is the best medicine.
Members of your foot care team can include:
- Chiropodists or Podiatrists: Specialize in treating foot diseases, disorders and dysfunctions. Meet Kaitlin Werkman, Registered Chiropodist, pictured at right. Kaitlin has earned a Master of Science in Diabetes (MSc Diabetes) and is licensed for nail surgery and local anesthesia. She has an interest in treating patients with diabetes.
- Diabetes Educators: Provide education on diabetes, including foot care
- Doctors: Assist in diabetes management, and some have specialized training in foot care
- Nurses: Some have specialized training in foot care
Be active – everyday!
Canada’s Physical Activity Guides for Children and Youth recommend that children build up to 90 minutes of activity (30 minutes vigorous, 60 minutes moderate) per day. Being physically active keeps children fit and healthy. There are also many social, emotional and educational benefits, which lead to:
- Healthy bodies: Regular activity builds a healthy heart, burns excess energy to help maintain a healthy weight and can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic diseases.
- Positive self esteem: Activity helps children feel good and try new skills.
- Social skills: Group activity provides the chance to make friends, build confidence and learn team-building skills.
- Good mental health: Activity can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
- Better grades: Activity can improve memory, creativity and problem-solving.
Keep ‘Em Healthy with a Daily Foot Care Routine
Put together a foot care kit containing nail clippers, nail file, lotion, and a non-breakable hand mirror. Let your kids decorate the kit so it’s personalized to them. Keeping what you need together in one place, where you use it, will make it easier for everyone. Here is the recommended daily foot care routine suggested by the Canadian Diabetes Association and your Chiropodist/Podiatrist.
- Wash your feet in warm (not hot) water, using a mild soap. Don’t soak your feet, as this can dry your skin.
- Dry your feet carefully, especially between your toes.
- Thoroughly check your feet and between your toes to make sure there are no cuts, cracks, ingrown toenails, blisters, etc. Use a hand mirror to see the bottom of your feet, or ask someone else to check them for you.
- Clean cuts or scratches with mild soap and water, and cover with a dry dressing suitable for sensitive skin.
- Trim your toenails straight across and file any sharp edges. Don’t cut the nails too short.
- Apply a good lotion to your heels and soles. Wipe off excess lotion that is not absorbed. Don’t put lotion between your toes, as the excessive moisture can promote infection.
- Wear fresh clean socks and well-fitting shoes every day. Whenever possible, wear white socks – if you have a cut or sore, the drainage will be easy to see.
We want you to feel comfortable and confident talking to all the footcare professionals at the Werkman Foot & Orthotic Clinic. We are all about feet!